I Don’t Have a Plan. I’m Making Black Bean Soup.

Yep. That was my conversation with my best girl, Lindy, the day before she was supposed to come to visit from Portland. If you’ve been paying attention to the weather around the country, you know that the Pacific Northwest has been hit by some crazy snow this season that they are not exactly prepared for. To top it off, Lindy just moved there from Southern California and has never really experienced snow before so she should have been relatively concerned. So when I texted her, “What’s your plan for tomorrow if they cancel your flight?” She responded, “I don’t have a plan. I’m making black bean soup.” This is the thing I love about Lindy (and also the thing that makes me crazy at times): She never has a plan. She is not worried about what she will do tomorrow if she can’t get to the airport or if her flight is cancelled. She will figure it out tomorrow.

The next day, her flight ran relatively on time (despite about a 30 minute day) and she made it here. Everything worked out in the end and spending hours agonizing about what her plan might be if her flight was canceled would have been a waste of time and energy. I remember traveling with Lindy when we were younger and joining her in the middle of a trip backpacking through Mexico. I needed a plan. I needed to know when we were getting on a bus to the next destination. Where else were we going? Where were we going to stay? Notoriously she would say, “We’ll figure it out.” And we always did (despite my nagging anxiety).

How might we learn a little from this? While I may never be able to be that “in the moment,” I keep striving to be more present. To at least relax more and not worry about the things I have little control over or the things I can’t do anything about right now anyway. I know we need to keep planning for the future to some degree and many times in my life my ridiculous need to plan everything has been helpful. However, there have been plenty of times in which it has only caused undue stress on myself and those around me. Maybe we just need to find more balance and make peace with not having complete control  all the time and just wait out the snow storm before making any major decisions. At the very least, we need more people like Lindy in our lives to help remind us to stop and smell the black bean soup.

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